Two White Wines to Start out Texas Wine Month
Why is October Texas Wine Month? Well, because it is!
In many wine producing regions, the grape harvest takes place in September and October. In Texas, the fact that it is a warm growing region, usually leads to the grape havesting starting first in the Gulf area in early July, followed by the hill country and east Texas taking place in August and September, with the Texas high plains being at the tail end of September.
So now, in October, we make the transition from viticulture to viniculture. The grapes leave their summertime vineyard home and have been transported to and safely reside in the winery where the crushing, fermentation, punching down and pumping over is taking place. Eventually, the wine will be clarified, tanked and in some cases aged in oak barrels.
I thought that it would be good to take a moment to celebrate Texas Wine Month by tasting two very interesting wines, one from the Texas gulf coast and the other from northeastern Texas.
Messina Hof Spumante, 2015 Spumante (Sparkling Muscat Canelli)
A delightful peachy effervesce greets your palate the moment your glass touches your lips. It has sweetness, but not too much, and accompanied with bright acidity that keeps things in balance and lively. The bubbles carry lemon-peach and floral notes (wine is made Methode Traditionnelle with secondary fermentation in the bottle) producing a steady stream of olfactory and tactile sensations that last with the bubbles. It is precisely these characteristics that make this wine a delight to experience and serve to others. It can accompany hors d’oeuvres and main courses particularly well if they focus on fish and fowl and are a bit picante. I hope you save some for dessert where almonds, cream and citrus that meld particularly well with this wine. Available at the Messina Hof Winery and at select Houston-area Kroger stores.
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, 2014 Branco Grande (dry estate grown Blanc Du Bois)
I’ll admit that I was remiss not to have tried this winery’s wine sooner. Like many other wineries along the Texas gulf coast and up into east Texas, Los Pinos Ranch is able to focus some of their efforts on the locally available and few worthy white grape – Blanc Du Bois. This “Big White” wine offers a huge tropical mix of aromas and flavors much like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with lemon-lime and kiwi notes with tangerine highlights hiding in the mix if you send a moment to search for it. Great wine for Pan Asian fare with ginger, lemongrass and Kaffir lime. 2015 vintage is available at the winery, but the 2014 is showing very nicely and is available in the Houston area at Houston Wine Merchant.